School bus and FedEx drivers charged in viral Lakewood road-rage video
New Jersey 101.5 video
LAKEWOOD — The drivers of a school bus and FedEx tractor trailer both face charges stemming from a road-rage incident caught on tape, police said.
While the bus driver was ticketed for moving violations, the FedEx driver faces more serious criminal charges because state law is stricter on assaults allegedly committed against bus drivers.
Morris Wilder, 68, of Lakewood, the driver of the school bus that police say illegally passed the 18-wheeler on Sept. 14, was charged with failure to maintain lane, improper passing and careless driving. He was also fired by Jay's Bus Service the day after the video appeared online.
Sigmund Winiavski, 48, Maple Shade, the driver of the FedEx tractor trailer who also lost his job, faces the delaying traffic, failure to maintain lane and careless driving along with a criminal charge of aggravated assault.
"Although no contact or physical injuries occurred, Mr. Winiavski's actions constitutes simple assault. However, because Mr. Wilder was clearly identifiable as being engaged in the performance of his duties as a school bus driver, New Jersey law dictates that the action rises to the level of an aggravated assault," police spokesman Lt. Gregory Staffordsmith said.
The video recorded by Lyndhurst resident Stephen O’Connor shows the school bus crossing solid yellow lines on Airport Road in order to pass the truck. As the bus passes, the truck turns into the school bus. Both the bus and the truck momentarily drive on the wrong side of the road with oncoming traffic approaching.
O'Connor followed the bus as it made its way to the Garden State Parkway and headed south.
Both drivers were released pending a court appearance.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.